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[Performance] Suggested browser and computer setup

mahmoud_2mahmoud_2 Member Posts: 24 ✭✭
Hi there,
Well I know OS is cloud based and all. Yet, with all those features and those expansions in mind, I guess that there will still be some -maybe more than some- load on rendering capabilities of the computer running OS.

So I wonder what do you guys suggest about the setup of the computer? In terms of cost as well. With comparison to systems running offline hefty CAD, how much cheaper would a system running OS "perfectly" be?

Another point I'm interested in is what exactly are the aspects of the machine OS requires more? RAM? GPU? CPU?

How about what is the best browser to you?
btw OS is sluggish in my Chrome. I use a very old machine for now. 


  • pete_yodispete_yodis OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 666 ✭✭✭
    WebGL supported browser.  Firefox is my favorite at the moment.  Chrome has a lower gain on the scroll wheel in Windows which leads to slower zooming.  With the windows version of Chrome It's not adjustable under the flags.  Firefox has a higher gain on the scroll wheel, so that's what I use.

    You definitely don't need to spend nearly as much on hardware.  A chromebook or windows device at $299-$399 will probably be adequate as long as the graphics card uses a good driver that supports WebGL well.  I think that is becoming standard anymore.  For my preference, I would spend a little more for other needs I might have - meaning Onshape might not be the highest driving factor in the purchase.  This is different than say something like SolidWorks where it would drive the specs needed for the hardware at the highest level.  Personally, for me I'm looking at something between $499 and $999.  I get better hardware at that price level which helps with other desires I have for my device.

    I think you'll find that graphics horsepower would be more important than CPU with your device.  This is because the model is calculated in Amazon Web Services and the local graphics is mostly handled by your local GPU.  More RAM on the GPU would be be better, too.  Of course all this depends on the sizes of the models you are working with.  You DON'T need a workstation card.  Don't spend money on this.
  • pete_yodispete_yodis OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 666 ✭✭✭
    I should add, you can walk into any store and if they have WiFi (why wouldn't they) you can log into your Onshape account and check out the performance on that device right there in the store.  You can't do that with desktop based CAD.  It's time well spent.
  • abefeldmanabefeldman Member Posts: 166 ✭✭✭
    edited April 2015
    Great answer @Pete_Yodis!

    To give you a bit more information, @Mahmoud, you're going to want an absolute minimum of 128 MB of graphics memory to do anything useful in Onshape, but really most newer systems have more or are integrated. If you go down the integrated graphics route, you'll get better performance with more RAM (and just in general).  We've found 4 GB to be more than sufficient.

    You should also check to be sure your graphics card isn't on the WebGL blacklist (https://www.khronos.org/webgl/wiki/BlacklistsAndWhitelists).  There are ways around it if your card is blacklisted, but if you're considering a new machine, it's easy to be sure between that list and Pete's walk-in method.

    Another good forum discussion on selecting a Chromebook can be found here:  

    And John Rousseau has a great comment on selecting hardware at the bottom of this discussion:  https://forum.onshape.com/discussion/comment/3146/

    Hope that helps!

    Abe Feldman
    UX/PD/Community Support
  • ilya_baranilya_baran Onshape Employees, Developers, HDM Posts: 1,160
    Also, keep in mind that with an NVidia Optimus set up, your browser can end up using the slower integrated GPU.  This is especially common on Windows.  If you have that setup, make sure the browser is set (in the NVidia control panel) to use the discrete GPU.  There is some useful information here: http://alteredqualia.com/texts/optimus/
    Ilya Baran \ VP, Architecture and FeatureScript \ Onshape Inc
  • abefeldmanabefeldman Member Posts: 166 ✭✭✭
    Some more information on graphics performance can also be found in the Onshape help documentation:  https://cad.onshape.com/help/#web-help/webgl.htm
    Abe Feldman
    UX/PD/Community Support
  • mahmoud_2mahmoud_2 Member Posts: 24 ✭✭
    Thanks for all the info.

    Great Responses. (Y)
  • kevin_quigleykevin_quigley Member Posts: 306 ✭✭✭
    FWIW I walked into a local Apple Store recently, logged into my account on several machines and ran some tests. I used everything from the entry level iMac to the highest spec Mac Pro. There was very little difference in performance. Maybe the Mac Pro was a bit smoother graphics wise but not woth 3x the price of the iMac.

    this is one of the hidden benefits of Cloud CAD. You can try it on any internert connected machinr. Try it!
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